Public meet-and-greet set with three Pioneer principal finalists

Recorder Staff
Published: 3/25/2016 10:58:04 PM

NORTHFIELD — The public is invited to Pioneer Valley Regional School next week to get its first look at three people who could be named the school’s next principal.

The school district has announced a community forum Monday evening to hear from finalists Barry Bacom, Robin Whitney and Jean Bacon.

The principal search committee — composed of teachers, parents, students, administrators and school committee and community members — reviewed the 19 applications it received and produced six semi-finalists before whittling down the list to three. Each finalist has been allotted an hour at the forum. Bacom is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., while Whitney is slated for 7:30 and Bacon for 8:30.

According to information from the Pioneer Valley Regional School District, Bacom lives in Florence and works as the principal at Dean Tech High School in Holyoke. He began his education career in 2001 as lead teacher at Academy at Hays in Buda, Texas. He then worked as an assistant principal intern for McNeil High School before becoming assistant principal for Atkins High School, where he was later promoted to academy director.

Bacom graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. He also has a master’s degree from the University of Texas with a major in educational administration.

Whitney’s career in public education began in 2000 as a behavior specialist at Jaffrey Rindge Cooperative School District in New Hampshire. After owning The Robin’s Nest Preschool and Kindergarten for 11 years she went on to Conant High School, where she served as assistant principal, interim special education director, and behavior specialist. She was also assistant principal at ConVal Regional High School and principal at North Brookfield Junior-Senior High School and Lloyd G. Blanchard Middle School, which are both in Massachusetts.

Whitney lives in Rindge, N.H., and has a bachelor’s in education from Westfield State College and master of education from Antioch University New England.

Bacon, a resident of North Bennington, Vt., has worked in education since 1999. She founded Community Works Research and Development, a consulting firm the PVRS District says provides research and program development services to public school systems and community-based organizations that serve youth. Bacon later became director of 21st Century Programs at North Adams Public Schools.

She also worked as the administrator of teaching and learning in the that public school system.

Bacon graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in psychology. She earned a master’s in sociology and a doctorate from the University of Chicago. She also has a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Castleton State College, with a major in educational leadership.

You can reach Domenic Poli at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257.
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